catacomb

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noun cat·a·comb \ˈka-tə-ˌkōm\

Definition of catacomb

  1. 1 :  a subterranean cemetery of galleries with recesses for tombs —usually used in plural

  2. 2 :  something resembling a catacomb: such asa :  an underground passageway or group of passagewaysb :  a complex set of interrelated things the endless catacombs of formal education — Kingman Brewster †1988

Examples of catacomb in a sentence

  1. explored the catacombs looking for evidence about burial customs of that ancient society

Did You Know?

About forty Christian catacombs have been found near the roads that once led into Rome. After the decline of the Roman empire these cemeteries were forgotten, not to be rediscovered until 1578. Catacomb has come to refer to different kinds of underground chambers and passageways. The catacombs of Paris are abandoned stone quarries that were not used for burials until 1787. The catacombs built by a monastery in Palermo, Sicily, for its deceased members later began accepting bodies from outside the monastery; today you may wander through looking at hundreds of mummified corpses propped against the catacomb walls, dressed in tattered clothes that were once fashionable.

Origin and Etymology of catacomb

Middle English catacumb, Medieval French catacombe, probably from Old Italian catacomba, from Late Latin catacumbae, plural


First Known Use: 15th century


CATACOMB Defined for English Language Learners

catacomb

play
noun cat·a·comb \ˈka-tə-ˌkōm\

Definition of catacomb for English Language Learners

  • : an underground place where people are buried



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